A Mind-Blowing Trip through the Heavens
Release Date: March 19, 2010
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio (Narration)
Audience: All ages
Runtime: 43 minutes
Distributor: Warner Bros, Pictures/Time
Director: Toni Myers
Executive Producer: N/A
Producer: Judy Carroll
Address Comments To:Jeffrey L. Bewkes, CEO, Time Warner
Barry M. Meyer, Chairman/CEO
Alan Horn, President/COO
Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. (New Line Cinema)
4000 Warner Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91522-0001
Phone: (818) 954-6000
The journey begins with a quick history of the Hubble Telescope, including it’s rocky beginnings lying useless for three years awaiting repairs for a defective mirror. The Atlantis Shuttle’s last mission, just in April of 2009, sought to make final repairs for gyroscopic controls that would at last render the unit fully operational.
Viewers are introduced to the crew of five men and one woman as they are fitted for their space suits. Chief among them is Michael “Mass” Massimino, a 6’4” New Jersey father of three and the star of the mission. A five-minute overview takes viewers through training and other preparations for the mission until thrusters ignite in a fury of sound and we witness the final launch of the shuttle Atlantis through the power of 3D, while standing side-by-side with press and enthusiasts across the lake from the Cape Canaveral launch pad.
In addition to tools and instruments for various mission operations, the maximum amount of IMAX film stock possible is on board – all 8 minutes worth! Just as with every other piece of equipment aboard, this astronaut-film production crew has no room for error.
Airline pilots have often described flying as hours of boredom followed by two minutes of shear terror. Floating miles above the earth, this crew of Atlantis experiences the longest two minutes imaginable. That precious eight minutes of film chronicles the repair mission set against the floating background of the entire sphere of the earth. What unfolds is a mesmerizing aerospace technological drama.
Eight minutes covers hours of tedious blood and sweat work, the sun rising and setting every 90 minutes, temperatures rising and plunging 200 degrees in seconds. One inadvertent prick of a glove on an errant screw or jagged edge is terminal for the astronaut. All of this culminates in an old-fashioned billion dollar “ball pin” adjustment literally ripping off a handle bar in order to complete the last repair.
The first images of space from Hubble are awe-inspiring enough, but as soon as you begin to move through those images in 3D space, words fail. Not with CGI or artist renderings, but with real Hubble data amalgamated via imaging software that permits a 3-dimensional navigable field, we “fly” into and through galaxies, across the universe to the farthest edge of the visible universe. Leonardo diCaprio narrates as we traverse the universe light years per second as though it were a trip to the market.
Focusing on the elegance and magnificence of the images and the elements themselves, the only blue or red in this narrative is in describing the color of stars. Toward the end of this galactic journey, God becomes the elephant in the theater. Having begun with crystal clear images of legions of galaxies, the movie arrives at the edge of the visible and ever expanding universe. Stopping on the fuzzy image of the last outpost galaxy, DiCaprio remarks that the light from those images began traveling toward Hubble’s eye billions of years before the earth even existed. It’s a statement of fact based on the speed of light traveling through the astronomical distances of space. It’s a statement which, rather than pushing an evolutionary agenda seems to only highlight the profound nature of God’s creative process. God spoke “let there be light, and it was so” and that creative word is still going, still expanding, still creating.
From the edge of the universe, the movie takes us back to the picture of our blue planet home, fragile, and utterly unique in all the universe. While the narrative asks us to consider whether we will ever find life elsewhere, it ends with a simple call to care for the earth that is poignant, but not heavy handed.
Though HUBBLE 3D is offered from a secular perspective, the Bible says, “The heavens declare the glory of God,” and HUBBE 3D follows suit. The first images of space from Hubble are awe-inspiring enough, but as soon as you begin to move through those images in 3D space, words fail. With real Hubble data combined via imaging software that permits a three-dimensional navigable field, the movie “flies” into and through galaxies, to the farthest edge of the visible universe.